Microsoft Office 365 is now live

After a year of beta testing, Microsoft has officially rolled out its Office 365 platform.

The cloud-centric service allows users to access and sync Office, SharePoint, Exchange and Lync data across multiple devices.

According to Redmond, businesses that have deployed Office 365 are already reporting “impressive results” and reducing IT costs by up to 50 percent.

“Great collaboration is critical to business growth, and because it’s so important, we believe the best collaboration technology should be available to everyone,” explained Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. 

“With a few clicks, Office 365 levels the playing field, giving small and midsize businesses powerful collaboration tools that have given big businesses an edge for years.”

Indeed, with Office 365, users can stay on the “same page” via instant messaging and virtual meetings with people who are just down the hall or across the world. They can also work on files and documents at the same time, while sharing ideas just as easily as calendars.

Microsoft is currently offering a variety of Office 365 service plans, with a monthly price that ranges from $2-$27 per user per month.

Redmond’s aggressive pricing is expected to pose a serious challenge to rival Google Docs, which Mountain View sells to businesses for $50 per user per year.